Fun and functional, outdoor showers keep sand at bay.
Design pros recommend harmonizing a stand-alone shower with your home. “These showers are best when they look like a part of their site and take advantage of surrounding views,” says Ethan Fierro in his book The Outdoor Shower: Creative Design Ideas for Backyard Living, from the Functional to the Fantastic (Storey, 2006).
When selecting a style, mimic your home’s architectural details, then incorporate the structure into the landscape with fragrant and colorful plantings. “If your shower will be used primarily at night, give some thought to lighting,” Ethan advises.
• Provide comfy robes and sea-scented products to pamper guests with a spa-like experience.
• Fill perforated storage containers with loofahs, back brushes, and sea sponges. Keep some aloe vera gel on hand, too, for post-shower soothing.
A running rail salvaged from the bow of a boat finds new use as this shower’s curved curtain rod. The homeowner crafted the showerhead from a large seashell.
• Mellow out with music. Supply a waterproof MP3 or CD player for the shower area.
• Buy eco-friendly soaps and shampoos for a luxurious scrub that won’t harm vegetation and wildlife or clog drains.
• Control water runoff. Cover the floor with rocks, bricks, or stones. If the shower is elevated, make sure water drains through floorboards onto sandy or quick-draining soil.
• Check local codes for building and drainage restrictions before starting your project.
• An outdoor shower may tax your hot-water system, so consider updating the system before installation.
Treated wood, rust-resistant fixtures, and an outdoor-fabric curtain withstand harsh coastal conditions.
• Choose materials that will survive the elements. Use pressure-treated, painted, or composite lumber; synthetic decking; mildew-resistant fabrics; and rust-resistant fixtures.
• Stash rolled-up towels in a galvanized bucket to warm them in the sun.
• When room is limited, create a niche with a corner shower or wall-mounted showerhead.
• Use a trellis to define the space around a wall-mounted fixture. Plant a climbing vine to create an aromatherapy session for bathers.